Well, the 2014 midterm elections are in the books. It’s all over but the shouting (almost). With all the close calls, potential recounts, and even a runoff in the Senate—there’s still some shouting left to do. What’s not in question is that we witnessed yet another wave election, this time with Republicans handily taking control of the Senate in the next Congress. Now Congress is back in Washington to start wrapping up the current session.
Of course, ICBA and the nation’s community banks have friends and allies on both sides of the aisle, and the elections again proved our industry to be an effective advocate. In the 2014 election cycle, our industry’s political action committee—ICBPAC—contributed $1.7 million to more than 290 pro-community bank candidates and committees. These are the folks who understand the challenges community banks face and who are committed to fighting for us in Washington.
Community bankers can rest assured their contributions, grassroots outreach, and Election Day votes are a positive investment in the future of our industry. In fact, while it’s too early to tally our success rate because some races are yet to be decided, we know it will be more than 90 percent. Think about that the next time someone tries to tell you your vote doesn’t count.
I could keep going on about the midterm elections—believe me—but instead I’ll direct ICBA members to our memo recapping the key races and laying out what they mean for community banks. Suffice it to say, ICBA is in a very good place to continue advocating on behalf of our beloved industry. And that is due to the outstanding reputation and commitment of community bankers, plain and simple.
So thank you. Thank you, community bankers. Your everyday business helps local economies run and your unrelenting commitment to local development helps your communities thrive. It is up to ICBA to ensure Washington recognizes that and allows community bankers to do their jobs of supporting their communities.
So even though we’ve had a successful election, let’s not forget we still have a couple of crucial weeks remaining in the 113th Congress. ICBA will continue fighting to advance several key measures to provide relief from excessive regulations. But with the 60-vote filibuster threshold in the Senate and the presidential veto, challenges to passing ICBA-advocated legislation through the legislative process remain.
So we encourage community bankers to get on ICBA’s grassroots resource center to join the fight. There’s not much time left, but we’re going to have to keep doing our share of the shouting if we want Washington to hear us.